Government and Bureaucracy Updates – 1/2/22
Nevada Public Meeting Schedule: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Notice/A/
Past Meetings and Explanations:
Legislative Commission (LC): meeting 12/21/21 – The NV Division of Public & Behavioral Health (DPBH) and Board of Health (BOH) led by the efforts of Dr. Ihasan Azzam, NV Chief Medical Officer were able to get LCB File Numbers R069-21 (permanent college student covid vaccine mandate) and R117-21 (permanent covid vaccine mandate for “certain state employees” including college staff and Dept. of Corrections staff) onto the meeting agenda for this meeting of the “out of session” interim committee representing the greater legislative body of Nevada. The LC failed both of these LCB files with a straight party line vote; all 6 democrats voted to pass these permanent vaccine mandates while all 6 republicans voted against passage. Although each of these LCB files had already been scheduled for public workshops and public hearings to be held in January 2022, they somehow got the legislature to agree to hear these proposed changes to the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) regarding these immunization regulation updates prior to those public meetings, which usually occur first. Senator Hardy a couple of times mentioned the unusual process and we assume this is what he was referring to. DPBH and BOH were trying to get the Legislative Commission to “pre-approve” these changes which would have meant that immediately following the workshops and hearings, the changes could have been filed with the Secretary of State and been implemented immediately. They were basically trying to rush the changes through as quickly and as smoothly as possible for them by changing the normal order of the process. In order to create state vaccine mandates now the DPBH and BOH will have to go through each of the following steps which are listed in the ordinary order in which NAC changes are typically enacted:
- hold a public workshop (DPBH)
- hold a public hearing (DPBH)
- BOH must vote to approve the changes with a majority
- Legislature (the Legislative Commission representing the whole legislature when legislature is not in session) must vote to approve the changes and pass with a majority. Currently there is not another Legislative Commission meeting posted and there is no legislative session in 2022.
- Secretary of State files the updates and the changes become state law
It is possible that DPBH will re-use the same LCB file numbers or they may start over with new file numbers. Here’s a link to a page where most likely any new work towards statewide vaccine mandates would show up. https://dpbh.nv.gov/Programs/SIP/dta/Statutes/IZ_Regulations/
Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents: meeting 12/30/21– The NSHE Board governs this state agency charged with overseeing all public/state post secondary educational institutions. The 13 board members are elected for 6 year terms and each represents a specific geographic region. Last summer industry group Nevada Faculty Alliance, led by the efforts of their president Kent Ervin began pushing for student and staff vaccine mandates. They created a petition that was distributed among staff and students throughout Nevada asking NSHE and the state to put vaccine mandates in place for everyone on college campuses in Nevada. The NSHE Board of Regents drafted and sent their own letter of support for a student vaccine mandate to the state BOH and that board obliged by creating a temporary emergency mandate for all students at their 8/20/21 meeting. This BOH mandate for student covid vaccines expired after 120 days on December 18, 2021, which prompted the BOH to start work on permanent mandates as detailed above in the Legislative Commission update. The NSHE board created drafted new NAC (which they can because by NRS state law they are the governing body of the NSHE agency) and successfully created a permanent vaccine mandate for all staff by approving the new regulations in their board meeting on September 30, 2021. NSHE had given all staff until December 31 to comply or be fired. The items on the agenda for the 12/30/21 emergency meeting were the internal staff mandate and the drafting and sending of a letter to the Governor, the BOH and the Legislature encouraging one (or more) of these entities to create a permanent student mandate. As for the staff mandate, the meeting agenda indicated that they would decide on one of three options; whether they would indeed proceed with the terminations for noncompliance on 12/31/21 as earlier decided; extend the date for compliance to 1/15/22 or to eliminate the mandate altogether. In the meeting the board members decided to vote on “whether the existing mandate with the deadline date of 12/31/21 should be kept in place. The vote was tied 6-6 so it failed. BUT Legal Counsel determined that even though the board did not approve continuation of the existing mandate and the deadline, they failed to create a replacement regulation; therefore according to legal counsel, the prior regulation stands until this board creates a new regulation. One might ask WHY the board failed to put this to rest that night. We’ll have to get back to that later. The regents voting YES to the vaccine mandate were: Carol Del Carlo, Amy Carvahlo, Dr. Mark Doubrava, Jason Geddes (Pershing & Washoe Counties-term ends 2022), Donald McMichael Sr. & John Moran (Clark County-term ends 2022)
Those who voted NO on both action items and against vaccine mandates were: Joseph Arrascada, Patrick Boylan, Byron Brooks, Dr. Patrick Carter (Clark County-Term ends 2022), Cathy McAdoo (Clark County-Term ends 2022) & Laura Perkins. Please be sure to thank these regents by sending an email or making a quick phone call!
The 13th member of this board, Dr. Lois Tarkanian was absent and we won’t speculate now as to why she did not participate.
At this moment NSHE’s staff mandate is in place and they were to terminate anyone not in compliance. We are waiting to hear the outcome of this deadline. As it stands at this moment, there is no college student covid vaccine mandate and all students can enroll for classes without any vaccine non-compliance holds. At this point NSHE and the Governor have each made public statements about furthering the student mandate regardless of the failure of the LC to help them out with pre-approval. We’ve got to keep watching NFA, NSHE, BOH, DPBH and the Governor because they all seem to be on a mission to put this mandate into place one way or another.
Upcoming Threats To Medical Freedom and Meetings to Watch:
Department of Public & Behavioral Health: SB211 Public Workshop Thursday 1/6/22 1:00 PM
These proposed revisions to NAC stem from passage of SB211 relating to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) testing. This appears to increase HIV testing by isolating HIV as its own category outside of general STD testing and it seems that if approved all healthcare providers will be required to offer HIV and STD testing at perhaps every patient encounter and to record in the patient’s medical record whether they have accepted or declined the testing. It also appears to officially adopt United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) HIV testing guidelines which includes “All Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women” and the text of the workshop notice specifically cites the following: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV and STD as part of routine health care. The CDC also recommends more frequent screening of HIV and STDs (e.g. once every 3 or 6 months) for individuals with increased risk of infections. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) provides a “Grade A” recommendation that clinicians screen for HIV and STDs in adolescents and adults aged 15 to 65 years. Younger adolescents and older adults who are at increased risk of infection should also be screened.”
We think this additional testing could result in further medical tyranny such as is the case with covid-19 testing and vaccination campaigns, but we need to better understand these proposed changes and the motives behind them. There is legitimate talk of HIV vaccines coming to a doctor or pharmacy near you soon, which could certainly be one explanation for the desire for increasing testing/case counts prior to the rollout.
THIS ONE IS HIGHLY CONCERNING TO US! These changes are related to the Newborn Screening laws. For those unfamiliar with Newborn Screening – this is a blood sample that is taken from a newborn child and is tested for various “inherited” or “preventable” conditions. Current law in Nevada requires each baby born in a hospital be screened. These proposed changes will require a blood sample taken from every baby born in the state. For infants born outside of a hospital setting, any “professional” attending the birth (nurse, midwife, doula, etc.) will be required to take the sample and to submit it to the state lab. If there is no professional in attendance of the birth, the mother of the baby will be required to submit this sample within 7 days of birth. There is no opt out. If these regulations are put into place, parents will not be able to decline this screening under any circumstance. Every single newborn will have a blood/DNA sample in the state database. Vaccine passports, you say? THIS is medical tracking plain and simple! This program has the very serious potential to be used by overreaching governmental entities in ways that could be quite detrimental to the rights and the freedoms of every future Nevadan.
The proposed changes have to do with applicants and recipients of state “diaper grants”. The changes do “require” that recipients enter into an “operating agreement” with the state/DPBH and that they then basically have to adhere to certain undefined requirements set forth upon them by DPBH and that the state will have the right to “examine” any and all documents/files that the grantee has under their control and they will have to submit an as of yet undefined quarterly report to DPBH. We’re not sure about the details of this program and what types of grant recipients may be affected, but it does reek of another gross overreach whereby any recipient of such a grant will be very much under the control of the DPBH.
The PEBP Board oversees and regulates the benefit programs for state employees including the health insurance plans available for state employees and their dependents. The board consists of 10 members appointed by the Governor with each appointee representing a specific class of public employees and retirees, including the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), retired public employees, state employees, and local government employees. During their 12/2/21 meeting this board voted to charge a health insurance premium surcharge for unvaccinated members ($50/month) and their dependents ($175/month). They had also implemented additional “cost sharing” health insurance premium fees earlier during the pandemic and in this meeting the board voted to continue charging members these additional “emergency” premiums. At the time of the December meeting there were approximately 5,000 state employees participating in the PEBP health insurance plan that were unvaccinated and who would be directly discriminated against with a financial penalty for declining the Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) covid shots. There is a large and vocal group of state employees fighting this and they have begun a letter writing campaign along with appealing to the public to help them by making public testimony against these actions by the PEBP board. They are also working on holding a substantial protest at the meeting.
Upcoming Meetings To Watch: